Economy - - Jan 13,2017
The Labour Department on Thursday announced, the import prices rose 0.4 percent last month after a 0.2 percent decline in November.
U.S. import prices increased in December, encouraged by higher prices for petroleum products, but a strong status of dollar kept underlying imported inflation as low-key.
In the total time span of 12 months through December, the import prices moved upwards 1.8 percent, accounting for the largest gain since March 2012.
Import prices are gaining pace as the burden from lower oil prices is slowly dissolving. Currently, the oil prices have risen above $50 per barrel. However, underlying import prices are expected to remain soft over sustained dollar strength.
Last year, the dollar gained 4.4 percent against the United States' main trading partner currencies. The greenback might soon exhibit further gains adjacent the backdrop of President-elect Donald Trump's promise to boost spending and trim taxes.
Lower oil prices and the dynamic dollar had worked together to dampen imported inflation.
The prices of imported petroleum increased 7.9 percent in December after tumbling 3.0 percent in November. Moreover, import prices after the exclusion of petroleum fell 0.2 percent without being hampered the prior month.
It was also noted that cost of imported food fell 1.4 percent, marked as the biggest drop since February, after rising 1.3 percent in November.
In terms of imported capital goods, the prices fell 0.2 percent, falling for a third straight month. The cost of imported automobiles dropped 0.1 percent. Also, imported consumer goods prices omitting automobiles fell 0.3 percent in the final month of 2016.
The report also revealed export prices soared 0.3 percent in December after skidding 0.1 percent in November. On a wider view, the export prices were up 1.1 percent from the previous year stats.